July’s challenge shawl was Whirlwind Romance, by Nim Teasdale. I like Nim’s shawl designs, as they all seem to feature unlimited adaptability, allowing you to continue knitting almost until the yarn runs out! This pattern is no exception; it has two charts, the setup chart that establishes the beautiful Estonian Starflower stitch in the centre of the back, and then the main chart that continues building the design until you have a veritable garden full of starflowers rippling down your back. It has been a joy to knit, the centre panel providing visual and technical interest, and the two side panels in stocking stitch give a calming rest from the whirlwind between them.
Since this design is very adaptable, I thought I would include some statistics on yarn usage, so that you can see how much yarn was used in each main chart repeat.
Starting weight: 110g 385m approx.
Setup chart required : 3g
1st chart2 repeat required: 6g
2nd chart2 repeat required : 10g
3rd chart2 repeat required: 13g
4th chart2 repeat required: 16g
5th chart2 repeat required: 19g
6th chart2 repeat required: 21g (1 row shorter than the other chart repeats)
Picot cast off required: 10g
Yarn leftover: 12g
Finished dimensions: 134cm neck edge, 45cm depth
This was using 4mm needles and a relaxed tension. Thus each repeat of the main chart needed 3-4g more yarn than the previous repeat had used.
Since the pattern gives no blocking diagram, I have had to guess at the shape. I hope this looks OK!
The yarn I chose for this shawl is Wharfedale Woolworks Yorkshire Rose BFL sock yarn in colour Shinto Gate, a stunning semi-solid strawberry red. I love this yarn. It is smoothe and shiny, and seems to take colour well, as all the examples I have are richly coloured. This particular skein was issued as part of the 2015 Colour Therapy Sock Yarn Club.
Pattern: Whirlwind Romance by Nim Teasdale
Yarn: Wharfedale Woolworks Yorkshire Rose BFL sock yarn in Shinto Gate, 110g approx. 385m
Needles: Addi metal circular needle, 4mm, 100cm long
Yarn remaining after completion: 12g (approximately 42m)
August brings me to half way through the challenge, shawl number six. So far, all of the shawls I have knitted have been of conventional construction; start with a garter tab cast on and work from the neck edge downwards and outwards. I felt that a change would be good for me, and so I have decided on a pattern that starts with the outer edging and includes the shawl body afterwards. Ever since I first saw Heartsick by Rachel Henry I have wanted to knit it. It is a relatively small shawl, but has a lovely romantic lace border. The body is stocking stitch short row shaping, and I shall be using the short row technique I learned for making socks (described in the Fish Lips Kiss Heel Sock pattern). The yarn I have selected is Wharfedale Woolworks Yorkshire Rose BFL, colour Winter Sunset (part of the 2014 Flora Sock Yarn Club). Variegated yarns are always a little tricky when used for lace knitting, as the swift colour changes often fight against the lacy pattern. I am confident, however, that this lovely colour – red, pink, hint of blue, and purple mutating to damson and almost black – will suit this pattern as the heart shapes on the border are substantial enough to show off the variegation well.